Local

Stow, of all places, is having a moment

The town is battling back after a viral video exposed its Dunkin' dilemma.

It’s probably not too much of a stretch to describe Stow, Massachusetts, a 7,174-person suburb about 30 miles west of Boston, as “sleepy.” So when it starts trending on Twitter, you know something’s up.

Fortunately it wasn’t one of the usual things, like a multiple murder, freak natural disaster, or Matt Damon sighting. Instead, it seemed Stow had become the latest town anointed by WBZ’s Matt Shearer, whose on-the-nose Greater Boston news reports have made him both a Tik Tok sensation and the current top arbiter of what makes things, well, the most Mass.-ish. 

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Turns out Shearer’s Sept. 12 report on Stow’s newfound status as a “Dunkin’ Desert,” after both locations of the ubiquitous eatery unceremoniously left town, was an instant sensation, spurring more than 2 million views, national headlines, a video spoof — and even the rare follow-up report by Shearer himself chronicling all the hubbub.

So it seems that in addition to exposing the Bay State’s most special qualities to the world at large, Shearer’s reports have also started fueling entire industries — in this case a burgeoning “Dunkin’ Desert” T-shirt operation launched by an enterprising Stow businessperson. But what of the town of Stow itself?

It seems, sadly, that the viral report has left Stow in the unfortunate position of being identified for what it doesn’t have — i.e., any Dunkin’ locations — rather than what it does. That’s not something any self-respecting municipality is going to let slide, and sure enough, Stow is striking back.

Stow TV producer Jonathan Daisy made good use of his video editing skills to produce a 100-second video about all the things that haven’t deserted Stow, including the American Heritage Museum, the Minute Man Air Field, one heck of a corn maze, and an alarming number of Revolutionary War reenactors.

Not only that: The video features a veritable litany of Stowers (Stow-ites? Stowmaranians?) demonstrating a seemingly endless array of remaining coffee and doughnut options in town. Particularly of the apple cider variety — it doesn’t hurt that Stow has at least a half-dozen farms and orchards within town limits, not to mention such quaint establishments as the Stow Cafe and the Mug ‘n’ Muffin. One of them might even make you something resembling an iced chai latte with pumpkin cream cold foam, if you ask nicely enough.

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While the video hasn’t exactly gone viral yet  — about 2,000 views so far to Shearer’s 2 million — the message comes across loud and clear. In short, as Stow Town Administrator Denise Dembkoski says at the end of the clip over a cup of cold cider, “I think we will be OK.”

Also, separately, she pointed out that “if Matt would like to come back to Stow, we’d be happy to show him around. And, the coffee’s on us.” Sounds like a challenge, Matt.

Poor Stow: